Thursday, August 2, 2007

Business Practices a PITA and an Obstacle?

My raison d'etre in doing blog entries on the subject of business practices is to be helpful to those who may need just a nudge in the right direction of information, need a little push, or need a full-contact shove. The degree of effort made is tempered by the degree of need, and some people may not like the counsel, but that doesn't invalidate the benefit.

Recently, a reader commented to me - "...some of us aren't into it for the money or as a profession. We're into it for fun or as a creative outlet of expression and art. Therefore, the business side is just a PITA and potentially something that just gets in the way..." Here's the problem - if you are not looking to be a photographer by trade, then don't collect money. Feel free, by all means, to make beautiful nature images, photograph protests in your home town, or do a nice portrait of a family friend. However, if you have any respect for other creatives, and to tangentially ensuring their longevity - your actions of taking $50 for an assignment that should have been $500, or giving away for free your photographs for access to the limited locations that are credential positions, what you are doing is detrimental to your fellow creatives, and those who's work you admire.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


Anonymous said...

John, I appreciate your energy and enthusiasm. I find solace in knowing that I can't be blamed for the demise of the industry because I have held value and can say with a straight face I have only done one WFH job in my 20+ years as a professional. One may have been too many if you extrapolate that out to all the photographers out there, but to me I think I have done my fair share to keep the patient alive if you will. I also have included copyright lessons to my BFA students where I teach in the photography dept. at a local university. However, if there is one thing to be said about the hobbyists and amateurs, regardless of their poor business decisions, they have helped make the funding available to all of us by buying equipment and supporting materials. That's the light at the end of the tunnel for me, albeit Murphy's tunnel, but still that's the bullet I get to bite as our industry becomes a commodity.

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